Brothers sentenced for smuggling tobacco into Lassen prison

Tobacco is at a premium inside prison walls, and nobody knew that better than Michael Megill when he worked at the Federal Correctional Institution at Herlong in Lassen County.

While employed as a cook at the medium security facility in 2006 and 2007, Megill smuggled tobacco products – banned in federal prisons – to inmates in return for bribes collected by his brother, Jeremy Megill.

The brothers pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to bribe a public official, admitting the details of the scheme, and were each sentenced Friday in Sacramento federal court to a year and a day in prison. They will serve approximately two-thirds of that, assuming they earn maximum time off for good behavior.

According to Assistant U. S. Attorney Sean Flynn, over a seven-month period Michael Megill, 35, smuggled various forms of chewing and smoking tobacco into the prison and secreted the items in an agreed-upon location, where they were retrieved by inmates.

Outside the walls, Jeremy Megill, 33, arranged for and accepted money from inmates’ family members or other designated contacts, Flynn said.

Just how much tobacco was delivered to the inmates is not known. Flynn and defense lawyers agreed that the brothers’ total take was less than $5,000.


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